In August 2008, the cities of Lake Oswego and Tigard formally endorsed a partnership agreement for sharing drinking water resources and costs. Lake Oswego’s water supply facilities were undersized, aging and seismically weak. Tigard had long sought ownership in a secure, dependable water source and both cities wanted to keep water rates affordable for their residents. By sharing the cost of planning, designing and constructing a new water supply system, each city secured its long term water supply needs at a cost neither could afford alone.
The $249 million water project created a reliable water system that delivers high-quality drinking water from the Clackamas River to the communities of Lake Oswego and Tigard. The new water supply system replaced aging, vulnerable, at-capacity infrastructure with a cutting-edge system designed to the highest seismic resiliency standards. The system also enhances emergency water supply reliability regionally by providing access to Lake Oswego’s and Tigard’s combined storage as well as other supply sources.
Water System Improvements
Between 2013 and 2017, the Partnership upgraded, upsized and expanded five major facilities as part of the $249 million project:
- The Clackamas River intake pump station in Gladstone
- The water treatment plant in West Linn
- The Waluga Reservoir site in Lake Oswego that provides water storage for Lake Oswego and needed capacity to provide water to both communities
- The Bonita Road pump station in Tigard.
- 10 ½ miles of large-diameter steel pipeline that conveys water from the river to the treatment facility and on to customers.
For more information about the project, visit the project archive.
How the Partnership Works
This regional collaboration isn’t new. Lake Oswego and Tigard have benefitted from a water supply relationship dating back to the 1970s – Lake Oswego as the seller of water, Tigard as the buyer. The Oregon Department of Water Resources and the conservation community encourage regional water supply planning and collaboration between multiple communities as a smart way to manage water needs.
Under the partnership agreement, the City of Lake Oswego is the managing agency responsible for ongoing operation of the new facilities. Tigard shares ownership and control of the new water system. An Oversight Committee provides leadership and guidance, with representatives from Lake Oswego and Tigard City Councils. A Technical Operations Team includes staff from both cities.
Costs are allocated between Lake Oswego and Tigard. For more information, read the Partnership Agreement between the two cities. The primary funding source is revenue bonds repaid by customers’ monthly water charges.